Welcome to the Dragons’ lair!

Because Climate Change is finally getting the attention it deserves, after waiting since 1972, we have decided to open a new category where we welcome a discussion. Please email us or add to the comment section that follows each post. We will post all comments that are reasonable – not just those that agree with our opinion. Please click on the CLIMATE CHANGE category to see the posts. Help us all by offering solutions that combine to solve the problem.

We are four dragons who share our words, thoughts and work here on our blog – we also welcome anyone else to share their stories, poems, articles, reviews… and anything else!
Meet our bloggers

Here you will find our posts in various categories, and although most of these are what you might expect, here, in brief, is what you can find:

– writing – we are writers, that’s what we do, but we have separated our posts into categories. Please click on one of the links below or choose a category from the alphabetical list to the left

.

We also share posts on specific subjects:

Our writers post whole stories – which will or already have been published:

As well as sharing our writing, we write about writing, language, we review different arts, and the progress we are making on our own writing projects:

…and then there are the odds and ends…

You can find details about our books on our Dragon Bookshop page.

DON’T FORGET OUR NEW FAVOURITES PAGES! You can find them on the home page.

73 blogs…2 writers…1 challenge… Here you will find a featured book. It may be a launch of a new book we have written or a review of one of our favourites that we have written previously.

 

Brimdraca / Lois        –     Lois

Eorodraca / Richard  –    Richard

Spring review

Welcome to our spring review, which  is now a seasonal update.

So, a few stats: in the four months from November, we received 1,230 views and 21026 31 lovely visitors from many different countries around the world.  As ever, it is really great and much appreciated, thank you very much to you all across the world! To all our readers, world-wide, thank you so much for joining us, and welcome to all our new friends.

The blog

Now we are more free from health restrictions, we are not free from anxiety as we watch the terrible and dramatic events unfolding in in Ukraine. We send our support and sincere wish that you are safe, wherever you are, and a just peace will be restored. Whatever our situation, we can still roam in our imaginations and we welcome any contributions to our blog, especially now, from anyone who would like to write articles, stories or poems about anything! We love to share others writing of all sorts! Please send us any stories, poems, articles which we can share here – copyrighted to you and with full credits to you and links to your places!

News

Understandably we’ve not had much news to share, however John, Lois and Richard belong to a writing group who are now pulling together stories, poems and other pieces to make a collection for an anthology. Early days, but we will bring you news and more details as it becomes available. The working title is ‘Pendemic: 5 writers in lockdown’. In Lois’s other group, Writers in Stone, an anthology ‘Lock and Key’ has been published, full of wonderful and varied stories, articles and poems. You can find it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lock-Key-Anthology-Writers-Stone-ebook/dp/B09QL3NJWC/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1QLV0R0SHNAN2&keywords=writers+in+stone&qid=1646820060&sprefix=writers+in+stone%2Caps%2C66&sr=8-2 

Dragon publications

All our published work is available on Amazon, search for Gillian Peall, John Watts, Richard Kefford, and Lois Elsden.

Just a reminder that our friend historian and blogger, Andrew Simpson,  is writing some very interesting articles not only addressing the difficulties of our times, but how ordinary people, just like us, coped in the past. You can find his blog https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.com/ ; his published books are available on Amazon.

Until next month, cheerio and many thanks once again to all our viewers/readers!

November 6th… and our October review

Welcome to our November review, which once again is actually more of a monthly update.

First of all can we send all great news of  our wise dragon Sigedraca, now home recovering from her broken wing (ok, actually it was her leg!)  and able to look the world in the face from her own window with her all-seeing eye!  As we’ve mentioned , we dragons have faced several personal challenges recently, which has severely affected our output. However we hope that soon we will be writing and sharing regularly,  and we will keep you updated.

So, a few stats: in October we received 311 views and 231 lovely visitors from 18 different countries around the world.  As ever, it is really great and much appreciated, thank you very much to you all across the world! To all our readers, world-wide, thank you so much for joining us, and welcome to all our new friends.

The blog

Whatever the restrictions, we can still roam in our imaginations and we welcome any contributions to our blog, especially now, from anyone who would like to write articles, stories or poems about anything! We love to share others writing of all sorts! Please send us any stories, poems, articles which we can share here – copyrighted to you and with full credits to you and links to your places!

News

Understandably we’ve not had much news to share, however John, Lois and Richard belong to a writing group who are now pulling together stories, poems and other pieces to make a collection for an anthology. Early days, but we will bring you news and more details as it becomes available. The working title is ‘Pendemic: 5 writers in lockdown’.

Dragon publications

All our published work is available on Amazon, search for Gillian Peall, John Watts, Richard Kefford, and Lois Elsden.

Just a reminder that our friend historian and blogger, Andrew Simpson,  is writing some very interesting articles not only addressing the difficulties of our times, but how ordinary people, just like us, coped in the past. You can find his blog https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.com/ ; his published books are available on Amazon.

Until next month, cheerio and many thanks once again to all our viewers/readers!

EARLY MORNING

Dawn struggled to break,

Low clouds covering the land.

No wind, so still

The trees stood guarding

The land beneath

Where, like ants

Humanity scurried, each

Intent on themselves alone.

Dawn peered blearily

Over the hills.

She hated these dark winter mornings.

October 2nd… and our September review

Welcome to our October review, which once again is actually more of a monthly update.

First of all can we send all continuing good wishes to our wise dragon Sigedraca, who is still recovering from a broken wing (okay, actually it’s her leg); she is now vertical  and able to look the world in the face again with her all-seeing eye! Her creativity is undiminished but at present she is exploring her artistic side and sharing original photos with her very original take on small domestic and medical items. As, we mentioned last month, we dragons have faced several personal challenges recently, which has severely affected our output. However we hope that soon we will be writing and sharing regularly,  and we will keep you updated.

So, a few stats: in September we received 277 views and 206 lovely visitors from various countries around the world.  As ever, it is really great and much appreciated, thank you very much to you all across the world! To all our readers, world-wide, thank you so much for joining us, and welcome to all our new friends.

The blog

Whatever the restrictions, we can still roam in our imaginations and we welcome any contributions to our blog, especially now, from anyone who would like to write articles, stories or poems about anything! We love to share others writing of all sorts! Please send us any stories, poems, articles which we can share here – copyrighted to you and with full credits to you and links to your places!

News

Lois has been away on a writing retreat near Glastonbury and the small village of Compton Dundon – staying in gypsy caravans! She would like to remind you that all her books are now available as paperbacks, as well as eBooks. She has been very busy with her next and as yet untitled Radwinter story, number eight in the series. She has now published a collection of 100 blog posts, each with 100 words, which she completed over 100 days. This was in response to it being the occasion of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore’s birthday, when a hundred thing challenge was announced. Ordinary folk were challenged to make/complete/do a hundred of a thing and be sponsored or donate to the Captain Tom Foundation. Lois completed her challenge and donated £100 to the foundation – she asked for no sponsorship or donations, but is publishing her 100 posts in 100 days as a book and any profit will also be donated.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/100-words-100m-blogs-days/dp/B09FC6C2R5/ref=sr_1_17?crid=2E5KR50C51DVR&keywords=lois+elsden&qid=1633173994&sprefix=lois+elsd%2Caps%2C272&sr=8-17

We are all very excited that Richard is working on further tales from the Strangled Ferret, updates soon! All Richard’s books are also available:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3ARICHARD+KEFFORD&s=relevancerank&text=RICHARD+KEFFORD&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_2

John, Lois and Richard belong to a writing group who are now pulling together stories, poems and other pieces to make a collection for an anthology. Early days, but we will bring you news and more details as it becomes available. The working title is ‘Pendemic: 5 writers in lockdown’.

Dragon publications

All our published work is available on Amazon, search for Gillian Peall, John Watts, Richard Kefford, and Lois Elsden.

Just a reminder that our friend historian and blogger, Andrew Simpson,  is writing some very interesting articles not only addressing the difficulties of our times, but how ordinary people, just like us, coped in the past. You can find his blog https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.com/ ; his published books are available on Amazon.

A further reminder, our friend Ann Bancroft also has a book available on Amazon, an account of her spiritual journey.

Until next month, au revoir and many thanks once again to all our viewers/readers!

September 4th… and our August review

Welcome to our September review, which once again is actually more of a monthly update.

First of all can we send all good wishes to our wise dragon Sigedraca, who is still recovering from a broken wing (okay, actually it’s her leg) and we hope she is soon up and about and looking at the world with her all-seeing eye! As, we mentioned last month, we dragons have faced several personal challenges recently, which has severely affected our output. However we hope that soon we will be writing and sharing regularly,  and we will keep you updated.

So, a few stats: in August we received 242 views and 212 lovely visitors from 26 different countries.  As ever, it is really great and much appreciated, thank you very much to you all across the world! To all our readers, world-wide, thank you so much for joining us, and welcome to all our new friends.

The blog

Whatever the restrictions, we can still roam in our imaginations and we welcome any contributions to our blog, especially now, from anyone who would like to write articles, stories or poems about anything! We love to share others writing of all sorts! Please send us any stories, poems, articles which we can share here – copyrighted to you and with full credits to you and links to your places!

News

Lois would like to remind you that al her books are now available as paperbacks, as well as eBooks. She has been very busy with her next and as yet untitled Radwinter story, number eight in the series. She is also about to publish a collection of 100 posts, each with 100 words, which she completed over 100 days. This was in response to it being the occasion of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore’s birthday, when a hundred thing challenge was announced. Ordinary folk were challenged to make/complete/do a hundred of a thing and be sponsored or donate to the Captain Tom Foundation. Lois completed her challenge and donated £100 to the foundation – she asked for no sponsorship or donations, but is publishing her 100 posts in 100 days as a book and any profit will also be donated.

John, Lois and Richard belong to a writing group who are now pulling together stories, poems and other pieces to make a collection for an anthology. Early days, but we will bring you news and more details as it becomes available. The working title is ‘Pendemic: 5 writers in lockdown’.

Dragon publications

All our published work is available on Amazon, search for Gillian Peall, John Watts, Richard Kefford, and Lois Elsden.

Just a reminder that our friend historian and blogger, Andrew Simpson,  is writing some very interesting articles not only addressing the difficulties of our times, but how ordinary people, just like us, coped in the past. You can find his blog https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.com/ ; his published books are available on Amazon.

A further reminder, our friend Ann Bancroft also has a book available on Amazon, an account of her spiritual journey.

Until next month, au revoir and many thanks once again to all our viewers/readers!

August 1st… and our July review

Welcome to our August review, which once again is actually more of a monthly update.

First of all can we send all good wishes to our wise dragon Sigedraca, who is recovering from a broken wing (okay, actually it’s her leg) and we hope she is soon up and about and looking at the world with her all-seeing eye! As, we mentioned last month, we dragons have faced several personal challenges recently, which has severely affected our output. However we hope that soon we will be writing and sharing regularly, but will keep you updated.

So, a few stats: in July we received 361 views and 254 lovely visitors from 29 different countries.  As ever, it is really great and much appreciated, thank you very much to you all across the world! To all our readers, world-wide, thank you so much for joining us, and welcome to all our new friends.

The blog

Whatever the restrictions, we can still roam in our imaginations and we welcome any contributions to our blog, especially now, from anyone who would like to write articles, stories or poems about anything! We love to share others writing of all sorts! Please send us any stories, poems, articles which we can share here – copyrighted to you and with full credits to you and links to your places!

News

Lois would like to remind you that al her books are now available as paperbacks, as well as eBooks. She has been very busy with her next and as yet untitled Radwinter story, number eight in the series.

Lois has also set herself a new challenge, which appears on her own blog, https://loiselsden.com/2021/05/01/100/ . On the occasion of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore’s birthday, a hundred thing challenge was announced. Ordinary folk were challenged to make/complete/do a hundred of a thing and be sponsored or donate to the Captain Tom Foundation. Lois set herself the challenge to write one hundred one- hundred word blogs over 100 days. She is now on Day 93 – nearing the end! – and has written nine thousand two hundred words on all sorts of topics, including family, walking the dog and hanging out the washing; Lois is  strangely taken with writing about this domestic task, and has also written a dozen pomes – she doesn’t grace them with the word ‘poems’- about it!

John, Lois and Richard belong to a writing group who are now pulling together stories, poems and other pieces to make a collection for an anthology. Early days, but we will bring you news and more details as it becomes available. The working title is ‘Pendemic: 5 writers in lockdown’.

Dragon publications

All our published work is available on Amazon, search for Gillian Peall, John Watts, Richard Kefford, and Lois Elsden.

Just a reminder that our friend historian and blogger, Andrew Simpson,  is writing some very interesting articles not only addressing the difficulties of our times, but how ordinary people, just like us, coped in the past. You can find his blog https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.com/ ; his published books are available on Amazon.

A further reminder, our friend Ann Bancroft also has a book available on Amazon, an account of her spiritual journey.

Until next month, au revoir and many thanks once again to all our viewers/readers!

June review / July update

Welcome to our June review, which actually is more of a July update.

We dragons have faced several personal challenges recently, which has severely affected our output, however we hope that soon we will be writing and sharing regularly, but will keep you updated.

So, a few stats: in June we received 334 views and 278 lovely visitors from 22 different countries.  As ever, it is really great and much appreciated, thank you very much to you all across the world! To all our readers, world-wide, thank you so much for joining us, and welcome to all our new friends.

The blog

Whatever the restrictions, we can still roam in our imaginations and we welcome any contributions to our blog, especially now, from anyone who would like to write articles, stories or poems about anything! We love to share others writing of all sorts! Please send us any stories, poems, articles which we can share here – copyrighted to you and with full credits to you and links to your places!

News

Lois would like to remind you that al her books are now available as paperbacks, as well as eBooks. She has been very busy with her next and as yet untitled Radwinter story, number eight in the series.

Lois has also set herself a new challenge, which appears on her own blog, https://loiselsden.com/2021/05/01/100/ . On the occasion of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore’s birthday, a hundred day challenge was announced. Ordinary folk were challenged to make/complete/do a hundred of a thing and be sponsored or donate to the Captain Tom Foundation. Lois set herself the challenge to write one hundred one hundred word blogs over 100 days. She is now on Day 64 and has written nearly six and a half thousand words on all sorts of topics, including family, walking the dog and hanging out the washing (she’s strangely taken with writing about this domestic task, and has also written a dozen pomes on it!)

John, Lois and Richard belong to a writing group who are now pulling together stories, poems and other pieces to make a collection for an anthology. Early days, but we will bring you news and more details as it becomes available. The working title is ‘Pendemic: 5 writers in lockdown’.

Dragon publications

All our published work is available on Amazon, search for Gillian Peall, John Watts, Richard Kefford, and Lois Elsden.

Just a reminder that our friend historian and blogger, Andrew Simpson,  is writing some very interesting articles not only addressing the difficulties of our times, but how ordinary people, just like us, coped in the past. You can find his blog https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.com/ ; his published books are available on Amazon.

A further reminder, our friend Ann Bancroft also has a book available on Amazon, an account of her spiritual journey.

Until next month, au revoir and many thanks once again to all our viewers/readers!

Very belated, but here is our May review

Welcome to our May and apologies for its late arrival. It’s nearly fifteen months since our world and our lives changed so dramatically, and for many so disastrously. Here in the UK we are the battle is ongoing, although there’s positive news too as science fights back. We hope wherever you live progress is also being made. However, we aren’t forgetting those places where the situation is serious and challenging, and we send our thoughts and hopes for positive news from those stricken places.

We writing has been a support to you, and we hope that you, your family and friends are safe and well, and offer our sincere thoughts to any of you who have been affected in any way whatsoever.

First of all…

We dragons have faced several personal challenges recently, which has affected our output, however we hope that soon we will be writing and sharing regularly, but will keep you updated.

So, a few stats: in April we received 498 views and 327 lovely visitors from 16 different countries.  As ever, it is really great and much appreciated, thank you very much to you all across the world! To all our readers, world-wide, thank you so much for joining us, and welcome to all our new friends.

The blog

Whatever the restrictions, we can still roam in our imaginations and we welcome any contributions to our blog, especially now, from anyone who would like to write articles, stories or poems about anything! We love to share others writing of all sorts! Please send us any stories, poems, articles which we can share here – copyrighted to you and with full credits to you and links to your places!

News

Lois’s news:

Lois has been busy with her next and as yet untitled Radwinter story, number eight in the series. She has also set herself a new challenge, which appears on her own blog, https://loiselsden.com/2021/05/01/100/ . On the occasion of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore’s birthday, a hundred day challenge has been announced. Ordinary folk have been challenged to do a hundred of a thing over a hundred days, and to be sponsored or donate to the Captain Tom Foundation. Lois is now on Day 49 and has written a century of words on all sorts of topics, including swimming, going to the pub, meeting friends and of course writing!

Other dragon news:

John, Lois and Richard belong to a writing group who are now pulling together stories, poems and other pieces to make a collection for an anthology. Early days, but we will bring you news and more details as it becomes available. The working title is Pendemic: 5 writers in lockdown.

Dragon publications

All our published work is available on Amazon, search for Gillian Peall, John Watts, Richard Kefford, and Lois Elsden.

Just a reminder that our friend historian and blogger, Andrew Simpson, who shares many of the stories from his own blog, is writing some very interesting articles not only addressing the difficulties of our times, but how ordinary people, just like us, coped in the past. You can find his blog https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.com/ ; his published books are available on Amazon.

A further reminder, our friend Ann Bancroft also has a book available on Amazon, an account of her spiritual journey.

Until the end of next month, au revoir! Keep following our blog!!

What I missed during lockdown

I missed our children. I missed their daily news. Just a telephone summary had to do.

I missed our grandchildren who will see us as part strangers from the ‘phone after a year. 

We will get them to know us again, we will not let them unknow us.

I miss the year of my life that I haven’t properly lived, never to come back.

I miss our friends and family that slipped away from us without the chance to honour them with a last respectful goodbye.

I missed the quiet enjoyment of life – now always filled with news of variants, threats of further restrictions.

I missed the meeting up of different groups, creative writing , geology and…I missed the reading aloud of our own writing, face to face with a chunky cup of strong coffee. I missed the field trips exploring geology with like minded people in the quiet countryside. I missed the after talk in the pub about the unknowableness of deep time.

Most of all I missed the comfort and knowledge of the predictability of continuity, space,  time and familial environment, what is now called Solastalgia, that weighs heavily on our minds.

© Richard Kefford 2021

Shakespeare’s spiel chequer ( Rev III )

Old Bill was hunched over his computer.

’ What sort of computer is it?’ asked Rodney. 

‘It’s a Dell, boy,’ answered Bill gruffly as he struggled to finish writing his new play. 

‘Is it working well? asked Rodney, who was itching to get his hands on it so that he could see how good it was. 

‘It’s not three bad,’ said Bill. ‘It has a couple of problems in that the RAM is too small – it was born prematurely and got Baaaahed and me Bard from the tavern. The floppy disc drive has a major problem because plastic hasn’t been invented yet so I have had to make do with a wooden disc to store all my scripts. This is a little slow and it works OK, but when I put them in my store, they get damaged by woodworm, which doesn’t improve the spelling.

‘Why don’t you pop down the road to PC World and see if they have a new one on special offer?’ 

‘I’ve tried that but they are very difficult to talk to as they are a fully woke organisation.  They insisted on calling my computer a He instead of an It and said that if they upgraded It/He  then they would have to refer to He as a They. They also  wanted to flog me an apple instead of a computer and my mate Isaac says that they keep dropping off the tree. I asked about the new operating system but they said that was expensive because of the poxy new window tax.’ 

‘I’d have one of those new apples, they’ve got a new core processor that runs really fast. 

‘Well, if you’re so clever, why don’t you have a go at fixing the spell chequer on this thing?’ 

‘Why, what’s wrong with it?’ 

‘As things are a bit slow in the playwriting business, I’ve been taking commissions from shops to write some adverts for them. Look at this one; I tried to write a slogan for a camping shop to stick in the window to advertise their winter sale. It came up with the strap line,”Now is the winter of our discontent.” 

‘What’s wrong with that?’ asked Rodney. 

‘I wrote; “Now is the winter of our discount tents.” How can you work with a machine that messes up all your writing?’ asked an exasperated Bill. ‘I had to give up on that one as the shop keeper told me that someone else had already come up with the same line. “Who was that?” I asked.‘

It was a guy who you might know, Christopher Marlowe?’

‘Oh yes, alas poor Chris – I knew him well.’

‘So then I had to try and think up a suitable replacement line. I did this by quickly canvassing the people around the town but I was told that you cannot run through a camp site, you have to use the passed tents.’

‘I also had a commission from a shopkeeper who sold winter clothing, I wrote; “Many are cold but a few are frozen”. The computer said, “Many are called but few are chosen”. I ask you, what does that mean?’ 

‘I tell you what,’ offered Rodney. ‘Let me have the computer for about 12 hours and I’ll check it over, upgrade the RAM, install a new hard drive and upgrade the operating system to Windows 007. Then you should see big difference in performance. I can get the upgrades cheap at ITEA, as long as I assemble them myself.’ 

‘OK,’ said Bill, ‘I don’t understand what you are wittering on about but I’m willing to give it a go if you think it will help, but will it sort out the spell chequer?’ 

‘Should do,’ said lying Rodney. ‘I’ll shut it down and take it back to my workshop in Silicon Alley.’ 

‘OK,’ said Bill. I’ll see you back here tomorrow with my “good as new computer.” Thanks Rodney.’ 

They had a quick high three and then Rodney was off.  Bill spent the evening laboriously quill writing out the script for his latest advert for a shopkeeper in Venice who sold organic bailers for dinghies. “Just one corn…” he hadn’t got very far. He was sure he had script writer’s block. He segued into thinking about a song about angling. He enjoyed fishing. “I’ve been fishing for seal but I’ve just caught an eel – it’s a moray.” 

He dreamily thought back to the time when he was running his farming advice programme on Thy Tube. He was proud of his script writing then. He wrote a piece about pig farming, called Hamlet. It went down very well, especially after he cured the pigs and called on Francis Bacon to try it. His vegetable growing advice column was widely said to be the best of it’s time. He was especially proud of his advice “ To thine own self beetroot.” It was getting dark, well, it was the winter’s tail, so he blew out the candle, put his quill back on the goose and laid his head down for the night – hoping for dreams of a new play. 

***** 

The sun was lighting up his studio, the lark was pottering around the kitchen so he thought he had better get up with it. He sipped his jug of ale – coffee hadn’t bean invented yet. He had dreamed of a new play, a romance between two young lovers, Alfa Romero and Juilietta Bugati. 

He had not slept well as he had been worrying about any new business he might get.

While he was waiting for Rodney to turn up with his rejuvenated computer, he whiled away the time by writing the play in his head. He had just got to a balcony scene where Miss Bugati was wondering where Mr Romero was, when Rodney rushed in.

‘Hey, my Lord, I…’ 

‘Wait’, said Bill.’ Rodney was cut off in mid declaration. ’I’ve just got a new client who wants to promote his creamed rice. He sent me a P Mail overnight. The poor pigeon was exhausted after doing a double shift, so I fed him some pumpkin seeds and then let him go. I had to show him the way home on a map as his GPS thingy wasn’t working too well, so he probably had to wing it. 

I suggested to my new client that I write a sonnet rather than just a simple strap line.’

‘Huh?’ exclaimed a bemused Rodders

‘See what you think,’ said Will I Am. ‘This is what I wrote.’

‘Shall I compare thee to a can of rice?
Round of body but top and base conflate:
Financial storms inflate the bogof price,
Anne Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

Sometime too hard the might of Tesco strike,
And oft his gold ramps up the price
as every fair trade cost from far oft places spike:
By chance or corporate plans change to gneiss.

But thy internal dessert shall not decay,
Nor lose possession of that fair trade thou must,
Nor shall Death erode and change day to day
When time advances, to sell by or change to rust.

So long as men can breathe, or palate can taste
So long lives this, not set to fall to waste.

“Sounds good to me, agreed Rodney, who was partial to a dollop or three of Ambrosia.

‘Look at what the stupid thing came up with.’ ‘Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day? How would I ever make that into a sonnet?

‘Dunno,’ agreed a baffled Rodney.

‘Is that my computer?’ demanded Bill.
‘Indeed my lord,’ said Rodney eager to please, and get paid. ‘Demonstrate then,’ demanded Bill. 

The computer was set carefully on the table, plugged into the wall paraffin socket and switched on. Rodney kicked it as he knew that computers had to be booted. Eventually it woke up and asked for a password. ‘What is your password my lord? asked Rodney deferentially – he knew what the answer would be… 

…After waiting on the phone for 37 minutes listening to “hey, Nonny no” many times, they eventually heard a human voice. ‘Hello Microsoft help desk, your call is very important to us so we will be recording this call for training purposes. How may I be of service to you this fine, sunny morning?’ 

‘Why is Microsoft training porpoises?’ asked a curious Rodney.

‘Hold thy tongue, scurvy companion’ hissed Bill ‘I’ve forgotten my password and I need a new one.’ 

‘No problem,’ said the cheery voice, ‘ just log on to our web site and follow the instructions.’ 

‘How do I log on when my computer won’t work without a password?’ asked Bill in a dangerously reasonable voice. 

‘That’s what we call the windows paradox. When you most need your computer, you have no way of making it work… except by giving Microsoft a shed load of shekels, err, that’s techy slang for money, by the way.’ 

‘How much,’ asked Bill through clenched teeth. 

‘Well it roughly equates to a pound of flesh, we don’t accept any jots of blood or debit cards of course.’ 

‘You can take as much of Rodney’s flesh as you like it,’ he said, ‘Just make sure you take it measure for measure.’ 

‘I’m still here you know’ said an aggrieved Rodney. 

‘Look upon it as a super fast diet plan,’ suggested Bill. 

***** 

The jovial banter was ended, the bill had been paid by a reluctant Bill and an even more reluctant Rodney. The computer was now working, windows were open, the birds were singing so Bill asked the Word program to open. 

‘OK’, it squeaked, and opened on its new hinges. Oh the wonder of it! 

‘Why don’t you type in your latest slogan and see what it does,’ suggested a lean, bandaged Rodney. 

Bill did so.
‘Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo.’
‘Merde,’ said Bill – he was proud of being a polyglot. ‘ That’s not right, it should be: “Alfa Romero, Alfa Romero, what art there is in an Alfa Romero.”  ‘I’ll be a laughing stock in all the car showrooms across Italy. I’ll never get a play on stage anywhere on the globe now. 

‘Well, that’s predictive text for you,’ giggled Rodney. ‘ Do you think I’ll get my pound of flesh back?’

‘I predict not,’ said Bill.

© Richard Kefford 2021